“Did I read that right??! Did Dan really write that he enjoyed “The Notebook”?!?!?!?!”

The Couch Potato Report – February 8th, 2005
In The Couch Potato Report this week, one of the best films of the 80’s, one of the best TV show’s of the 80’s and two films released in the 21st century.
To me, a movie is a movie is a movie.
Whether it is live action, animated, a comedy, a drama, a sappy love story, science fiction, a documentary, or a combination of all of those. They are all movies.
A movie is a movie is a movie.
But I know that others don’t think that way. The Academy Of Motion Pictures Of Arts and Sciences doesn’t see comedies the same way they see dramas and most film goers still think that animated films are cartoons for kids.
Sure, many adults went to see the SHREK films and FINDING NEMO, but the majority of adults that did go, went with a kid.
I, on the other had, go to see animated films just to be entertained, not to entertain someone.
A movie is a movie is a movie.
Our first movie this week is SHARK TALE.
SHARK TALE features Will Smith from MEN IN BLACK as the voice of Oscar, a lowly tongue-scrubber at the local Whale Wash.
When a shark accidentally kills himself Oscar just happens to be right there, prompting all of the undersea creatures to believe that Oscar killed the shark himself.
That lie makes Oscar a celebrity and he becomes revered by the general fish population, lusted after by a golddigger, missed by his best friend, hunted by the godfather of great white sharks, and he befriends a vegetarian shark named Lenny, who may or may not be able to make everything alright.
Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Renee Zellweger, Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese are just a few of the well known Hollywood stars who lend their voices to this entertaining film.
I was hoping I didn’t have to bring it up, but comparisons between SHARK TALE and FINDING NEMO are inevitable. The films both take place under water, and they were released in close proximity of each other.
So, to compare the two head to head, FINDING NEMO is a wonderfully fun film to watch and each one of its scenes gives you something new to see, feel and experience.
SHARK TAKE, on the other hand, is entertaining, and I liked it a lot, but it never excels at anything, and every single thing plays out like you think it will.
That said, it is the performances of the cast of SHARK TALE that make the film better than it is, or better than is should be.
Simply put, FINDING NEMO is a classic, SHARK TALE is now available on video and DVD.
Also now available on DVD – finally – is the two disc Special Edition of the classic film RAGING BULL. This edition has been out in Europe for years, and now we fans of this 1980 Academy Award winner can enjoy it as well.
RAGING BULL is Martin Scorsese’s brutal black-and-white biography of self-destructive boxer Jake LaMotta. This is the film that Scorsese should have won an Oscar for making as it is a complete knockout of a film!
Robert De Niro plays LaMotta, a man who is just as fascinating as he is pathetic and the fight scenes are astounding. It is not a film that I would recommend to everyone as the language and violence are excessive at times.
But when RAGING BULL was made, Scorsese and DeNiro were at the top of their game, and the result is a classic movie.
The two-disc SPECIAL EDITION features three commentary tracks, a documentary on the writing, casting, and preproduction of the film, an in-depth look at the choreography and the shooting of the fight scenes, a shot-by-shot comparison of De Niro and LaMotta in the ring, newsreel footage of the real LaMotta and much, much more!
For better or for worse, I was able to compare SHARK TALE to FINDING NEMO.
For RAGING BULL there is no comparison.
It stands alone.
A TV show that stood alone in the last part of the 1980’s was MIAMI VICE.
MIAMI VICE ran from 1984 until 1989 and was set in and around the seedy side of Miami. The show featured a never-ending array of criminals, drug dealers and lowlifes.
Don Johnson was Sonny Crockett and Philip Michael Thomas played Rico Tubbs, but Jan Hammer’s unforgettable music was as much a star of the show as any of the actors.
In it’s day, MIAMI VICE was a TV show, but it looked and sounded like a movie.
That was due to the fact that it had high production values, featured stylish clothing, and was full of the music from familiar artists of the time like Glenn Frey, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, U2 and Peter Gabriel.
Now, all twenty-two episodes of the first season of the show are available in the three-disc box set MIAMI VICE – SEASON ONE.
I remain a huge MIAMI VICE fan and I enjoyed watching the episodes again.
The show’s executive producer was Michael Mann. He is the the director of such films as COLLATERAL, HEAT and THE INSIDER. Mann is working on a feature film version of this iconic show that is set to star Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.
The film is guaranteed to be a lot of fun, but it won’t really be MIAMI VICE.
MIAMI VICE will forever be a show firmly rooted in the ’80s, thanks to the show itself, and a great new DVD box set.
If you are a fan of old television shows on DVD, the first seasons of NIGHT COURT, THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR and FULL HOUSE are now available as well.
Our final new release this week is the sweet and clichÈ filled THE NOTEBOOK.
And I won’t mince words about this love story based on the popular Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name – I loved it!
It is the kind of movie that made me wish I was in love!
THE NOTEBOOK is about two teenagers and two elder people loving couples in the early 1940s and present-day North Carolina.
As we meet the young pair, he is poor and she is rich, but you can’t deny love.
The pleasure in this film is watching the love between the couples, as the juniors meet and fall in love, demonstrating their love at every turn, and how the seniors love is unspoken.
Yes, it is sweet and and it is clichÈ, but I enjoyed it for what it was – a good movie.
And as I like to say, a movie is a movie is a movie.
THE NOTEBOOK, SHARK TALE, the RAGING BULL – SPECIAL EDITION, the complete first seasons of MIAMI VICE, NIGHT COURT, THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR and FULL HOUSE are all available now at your favourite local video store.
The Motorcycle Diaries is a portrait of the young communist revolutionary Che Guevara. It is a film that is half buddy-movie, half social commentary.
Also next week, I’ll talk about ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, RAY, COLLATERAL, SPIDER-MAN 2 and the other Academy Award nominated films that are now available on video and DVD. Just in case you’d like to see some of them prior to Oscar’s big night.
I’m Dan Reynish and I’ll have all of that in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!